CHILDREN have been celebrating their love of reading by choosing their favourite book.
More than 1,700 pupils from across the city took part in the Portsmouth Book Award.
The Year five pupils were tasked with reading four short novels and choosing their favourite – and the winning author was presented with an award at the Kings Theatre yesterday.
And it was Nicola Davies who came out on top with The Lion Who Stole My Arm.
She said: ‘It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s a very solitary business being a writer. You spend most of your time on your own, in your study, inside your head.
‘So to find out that you have real readers who really understood and got the story and got the message is just fantastic.
‘It’s incredibly important to make reading fun, to give children the choice of what they want to read and that’s what this is all about.
‘Reading is a hugely important way into self-discovery and into discovering the world. It’s wonderful to see so many children who have really understood what reading can do for them.’
Peter Bone, school library service manager, said: ‘It’s a good thing to do because it gets children reading for a purpose.
‘They are looking at the newest and best books so it’s always new material they are looking at.
‘They are so enthusiastic. Year 5s are always very interested in their reading and when they are given a challenge to read new things and enjoy them, they do.’
Pip Collins White, 10, is a pupil at Arundel Court Primary School and won Reader of the Year at his school.
He said: ‘My teacher kept it a secret from me. I was laughing in astonishment when I was in the audience.
‘I like reading because I like that you can go to a different world and just be caught up in it for however long you like.’
Ava Winter, 10, was the Reader of the Year at St Swithun’s Primary and said that she enjoyed taking part in the Portsmouth Book Award.
‘I really liked the storyline. I like reading because when you are reading you can think about stuff by yourself. You can imagine what’s happening.’